Philosophy / Religion
101 Introduction to Philosophy. The
meaning and scope of philosophy and the major
problems with which it is concerned. Fall, spring.
Contemporary Moral Problems. An introduction
to philosophical perspectives on some of the
important ethical controversies facing our society,
with a focus on developibng and critically analyzing
reasons used to support a moral postion. Topics
may vary, but may include abortion, cloning,
the legalization of drugs, physician assisted
suicide, animal rights, and the death penalty.
Introduction to Ethics. This course
is an introduction to moral theory. We will
address questions such as: What does it mean
to flourish as a human being? What makes actions
right or wrong? Are there moral facts, or is
it all subjective? Students will be encouraged
to discuss, chare, and defend their own views.
105 Logic. How arguments are
formulated and evaluated, analysis of the role
of language in communication and training in
the detection of common fallacies. Includes
categorical, propositional, and predicate logic.
110 Philosophy Through Films. This
course aims to examine and criticall evaluate
various philosophical themes by means of the
visual medium of film. Such themes include:
human nature, the nature of reality, and moral
problems. Films may include popular releases,
silent films and surrealist films. This course
also integrate philosophical texts
Introduction to Women's Studies. An
introduction to basic women's studies concepts
and theories, drawing on methodologies and content
of multiple disciplines. Explores the social
and psychological processes by which individuals
establish gender identity, the institutions
that shape gender identity and the artculation
of gender across racial and socio-economic categories.
Introduction to Jurisprudence. This
course is an introduction to the theoretical
and philosophical underpinnings of the United
States judicial system. It will investigate
the concept of "law" as it has been
applied throughout the course of western civilzation.
It will also explore the works of philosophers
who inspire the authors of the U.S. Constitution
of judicial philosophy and the often complicated
relationship between moral and leagal reasoning.
Writing and Argument. This course will
focus in the development of the skills involved
in philosophical reading, writing, and oral
presentation. We will be working with philosophical
materials; however the goal of the course is
the development of prfeciency with these skills.
Topics in Philosophy. A special topic
or topics including practical applications of
philosophy or the relationship of philosophy
to other aspects of life. Offered as needed.
of Religion. An inquiry into the scope
and function of religion, the nature and destiny
of human beings, the existence and nature of
God and other selected problems.
Ethics. An examination of the major
ethical theories of ancient and modern times
and their impact upon traditional and contemporary
ethical problems. Special attention is paid
to the development of ethical thinking and the
application of ethical theory to contemporary
321 Science, Skepticism and Faith.
Basic course in epistemology and metaphysics.
Topics include the distinction between scientific
and non-scientific types of knowledge (if any),
the difference between “belief”
and “knowledge” (if any), theories
of “truth”, and the case for and
implications of skepticism.
325 Theology on Film. See Religion
328 Liberation Theology. See
328 for course description.
329 Feminist Thought. See Religion
329 for course description.
Philosophy of Law. This course examines
the theoretical and philosophical aspects of
law. Materials will be drawn from actual leagl
cases, as well as writings by philosophers and
lawyers. Topics may include legal reasoning,
the nature and purpose of law, criminal responsibility,
negligence, civil disobedience, the relationship
of law and morality, and omissions and the duty
332 Contemporary Social and Political
Philosophy. An exmanination of fundamental
concepts and issues in political theory, such
as the justification and limits of political
authority, and the relationship between the
individual and the community, the nature of
freedom and obligation, and the obligation to
obey the law.
An exploration of the philosophical dimensionbs
of sports and their ethical implications. This
includes metaphysical, ontological and epistemological
foundation which shape roles, codes and rules
that define sports.
344 Biomedical Ethics. Ethical
issues created by recent advances in medical
technology, including questions such as the
relationship between the health care provider
and the patient; truth and information; autonomy
and diminished capacity; and genetic engineering
within the context of moral reasoning.
351 Classical and Hellenistic Philosophy.
Examination of the philosophical systems of
the Ancient Greeks and Romans. Special attention
given to the work of Plato and Aristotle.
352 Christian Heresies and Orthodoxies.
352 for course description.
353 Modern Philosophy. Exploration
of the foundations of modern philosophy, including
the contributions of Descartes, Hume and Kant.
354 19th and 20th-Century Christian
Theology. See Religion
354 for course description.
400 Capstone: Senior Thesis. Senior
research project stressing the application of
research skills and the synthesis of knowledge
in the discipline of philosophy.
101 Reading the Bible. The texts and
history of the Jewish and Christian Bibles.
Survey of the ways that the Bible has been read
from ancient times to the present, with examples,
and their implications for the understanding
of the text and the reader’s beliefs.
Introduction to the transmission, translation,
and reception of the biblical texts. Fall.
102 Religions of the West. Survey
of major monotheistic traditions in the West:
Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Emphasis on
the major forms of these three faiths including
Traditional and Reform Judaism, Eastern Orthodox,
Roman Catholic and Protestant Christianity,
and Sunni and Shiite Islam. Attention will be
given to historical origins, daily practices
and holidays, and contemporary issues. Fall.
105 Religions of the East. Primal religions,
religion in Africa, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism,
Taoism, Confucianism and Shintoism, introducing
the basic concepts and concerns of these religions.
The major emphasis is on the religions of India,
China and Japan. Spring.
106 Religions in America. Emphasis
on Christianity, Judaism, Afro-American and
Native American traditions in America, religion’s
role in shaping American culture and special
attention to recent developments. Fall.
108 Myth, Ritual and Symbol.
An exploration of the world’s dominant
religious and secular worldviews focusing on
the myths, rituals and symbols contained in
their sacred texts. The material is divided
equally between Western and Eastern religions.
Critical thinking techniques and strategies
are emphasized in a learning environment in
which students work collaboratively to produce
and assess their own knowledge of the material.
110 World Christianities. Study
of the contemporary situation of the Christian
tradition worldwide. Focus on Christianity in
discrete geographical areas, and the diversity
and richness of Christian cultures. Areas of
study include Eastern Orthodoxy, Christianity
in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, the rise
of Pentecostalism, and Christians in relation
to other religious traditions. Spring.
Jesus in Mass Production. A wide-ranging
and multifacted exploration into many faces
of the figure oh Jesus, through a variety of
genres and media. In addition to the New Testament
writings and contemporaneous extra biblical
literature, the course engages modern and postmodern
interpretations in novels, film, art, pop culture,
and other contexts, including perspectives from
outside the United States.
114 Christian Social Ethics. Contemporary
social problems and their relationship to Christianity.
Attention given to the historical development
of various Christian approaches to social issues,
emphasizing current social engagement.
Religion on Film. Exploration of the
religious issues reflected in popular films,
with special attention on the relationship between
beliefs, practices, and media.
118 Drugs and Religious Experience. An
exploration of the ritual use of hallucinogenic
drugs in sacred culture. The central issue of
the course is the relationship between such
drugs and religious experience Examples are
taken from various traditions from the Americas
and Asia. May Term only.
300 Topics in Religion. A special
topic or topics, including specific religions
or the relation of religion to other aspects
of Religion. See Philosophy
301 for course description.
303 Literature of the Hebrew Bible.
In-depth exploration of the scriptures
shared by Jews and Christians, with detailed
study of select passages, attending particularly
to the characteristic diversity of these texts,
to the historical and contemporary cultures
that surround them, and to the relationship
between methodological perspectives and interpretative
304 New Testament Writings.
In-depth exploration of the scriptures unique
to Christianity, with detailed study of select
passages, attending particularly to the characteristic
diversity of these texts. the historical and
contemporary cultures that surrond them. Their
relationship to early Christianity and the figure
of Jesus, and methodological questions central
to their interpretation.
Issues in American Religious History.
Specific issues and movements in American religion
and their interrelationships with the larger
American culture. Special attention is placed
on the impact of these issues and movements
on the contemporary situation. Topics include
social Christianity, fundamentalism and pentecostalism,
civil religion, church and state, sects and
cults and denominational history.
307 Sociology of Religion. Methods
and issues of the qualitative approach to sociology
of religion. Emphasis on the construction, maintenance
and function of religious organizations and
groups; and, the construction of religious identity,
and the function of religious worldviews and
ritual processes in maintaining that identity.
308 Native American Sacred Traditions.
An introduction to the worldviews and sacred
traditions which form the basis of American
Indian social, political, economic and material
structures. Emphasis is on the intrinsic relationship
between religion and culture in American Indian
societies. A variety of cultures are examined,
including tribes from the Great Lakes, Plains
310 Women in World Religions. Themes
and issues in the traditions and texts of Buddhist,
Hindu, Jewish, Christian and Muslim religions
with particular attention to the role of women.
Topics will include: images of women in sacred
scriptures and historical traditions, ritual
practices, sources of religious authority, and
psychological and ethical implications of feminist
approaches to religion.
Buddhism. An examination of Buddhism
as a major religion in South and East Asia focusing
on its core concepts, beliefs, and practices
giving attention to tis major divisions (Theravada,
Mahayana, and Varjrayana) and the most important
schools within those traditions.
316 Religion in/and American Education.
An exploration of the legal issues related to
professional educators and the place and role
of religion in the public schools; the diversity
of religious traditions within school communities;
and religious perspectives that students and
parents may bring into the public school setting.
319 The Origins of Protestantism. Principal
figures and religious, political, social, and
economic factors that contributed to the development
of Protestantism from the 16th through the 18th
328 Liberation Theology.
During the 20th Century a number of movements
within Christianity turned to the teachings
of Jesus and Hebrew prophets, and Marxist social
analysis, to argue and work for social justice.
Examines the origins of Liberation Theology
in Latin America in the 1960s and the Black
Power struggle in the U.S. Other topics include
Feminist, Womanist, Ecological and Gay/Lesbian
329 Feminist Ethics.
Feminist approaches to literary theory, anthropology,
psychology, ethics, and philosophy, and their
possible effect on contemporary ethical issues.
330 Advanced Studies in the Bible.
A detailed study of portions of the Jewish and/or
Christian scriptures. Topics may include: prophecy
and apocalyptic, the Synoptic gospels, the Pauline
letters, myth and parable. Emphasis is on both
historical and literary approaches to the Biblical
335 Japanese Religion. An examination
of the interrelationship between the dominant
religious traditions of Japan and the ways in
which people express those traditions culturally.
The emphasis is on the cultural dimension of
Shinto, Buddhism, and the Confucianism and their
Religion and Environmental Ethics.
Examines whether the Judeo-Christian tradtionscan
provide rationales that will persuade human
beings from destroying other species, their
habitats and the greater biosphere of our planet.
We will examine Judeo-Christian text and discern
the extent to which they provide promising foundations
for environmental ethics.
Chinese Religion. An examination of
the interrelationship between the dominant religious
traditions of China and the ways in which people
exporess those traditions culturally. The emphasis
is on the cultural dimesnsion of Daoism, Buddhism
and the Confucianism and their historical interactions.
352 Christian Heresies
and Orthodoxies. Development of Christian
theology from Jewish and Hellenic thought. Focus
on major leaders, thinkers, and movements during
this time. Emphasis on Augustine, Pseudo-Dionysius,
354 19th and 20th-Century
Christian Theology. Continental Theology
from Schleiermacher and Hegel to the present.
Will include dialectical thinkers, existentialists,
feminists, and liberationists.
Ancient Ficiton: Sex, Shipwrecks, and Gods.
Examines the history, place culture, readership,
and the literary dynamics of select Greek, Latin,
Jewish, and early Christian novelistic literature
from the first four centuries of the Common
Era. Emphasizes matters of the theory and method
in relation to interpretation, and considers
the relationship of prose fiction to various
issues of identify.
Advanced and Special
199 Exploratory Internship.
299 Experimental Course.
399 Professional Internship.
400 Senior Research Project. A special
project stressing the application of research
skills and the synthesis of knowledge in the
discipline(s) of philosophy and/or religion.
Required of all majors. Spring.
451 Independent Study.
499 Advanced Experimental Course.